Neale Fenn: We have moved on and are focusing on Friday's game against Sligo now.

Thu, Aug 13 2020

On a rainy morning at Bishopstown Stadium, there was a new lease of life within the Cork City squad ahead of their clash with Sligo Rovers on Friday evening.Not even 48 hours ago, a goal from Ricardo Dinanga in the 120th minute of extra-time gave Cork City a 1-0 win over First Division side Longford Town at Turners Cross.

The result came three days after the Rebel Army grounded out a 0-0 draw away to Waterford for their first point since the League of Ireland restart.

There was a noticeable spring in the step of City boss Neale Fenn as he slipped away from training and greeted the press for his usual pre-match press conference.

“It was a hard fought win on Tuesday and the boys are happy but not getting carried away,” he said.

“It is nice to win matches with a goal in the last kick of the game. But we have moved on and are focusing on Friday’s game against Sligo now.

“The result against Longford was a win and that is all we care about. Sligo is our focus now and working out a way to break them down. They are an organised side and they have a strong starting XI and bench.

“We are coming into the game confident and we think this is a game we can win. We know it won’t be easy. Sligo are a great team and they have a fantastic manager in Liam Buckley. We are only focusing on ourselves and focusing on what we can do right.”

Since the restart City have been defensively sound, letting in just one goal in three games. Their main issue is going forward as Fenn’s side have yet to score from open play in the league this season.

“We’ve been saying this awhile now, the first goal in matches in crucial. Most teams will hold out a 1-0 lead. Most of our games – Shelbourne, St. Patrick’s Athletic and Bohemians – have been 1-0 defeats. Getting the first goal is crucial and unfortunately in the games we have played we haven’t been able to get the first goal. Hopefully this weekend we can amend that.

“Not losing games is so important for us. If you don’t concede you can build momentum. Against Bohemians we conceded so early and killed the game. It is very tough to try and come back from that. But if you score first, who knows what will happen. The opposition will have to come out and attack and that leaves space.”

The City manager also gave his reaction to Wednesday’s Extra.ie FAI Cup second round draw, which paired the club with defending champions Shamrock Rovers.

The last time the two teams met, the Hoops put six goals passed City in what was their heaviest ever defeat in League of Ireland football.

“It is not an ideal draw,” Fenn explained.

“I think that a lot of boys were really hurt after the last game against Rovers. It was such an early time in the season to take such a heavy beating and a lot of them now want to prove themselves.

“The game itself last February, I thought that we were quite close. For a lot of the players in the squad now the cup draw is an opportunity to get revenge and to show that we didn’t deserve to lose that game 6-0.

“That game in Tallaght keeps getting brought up. It is something we can’t seem to shake off. As much as this isn’t the ideal draw, we will be going there with a point to prove and the players will have a bit between their teeth to give a true reflection of the team we have.”